- I was invited for a press trip but opinion, pictures and experience is completely my own! Gifted Trip.
Note: Arubian Flamingos, are only at the private Rennaissance Beach that belongs to Rennaissance Resort hotel. To gain access you must be a resident of their hotel. People wrongly assume that they can buy a ticket in the hotel, but these are very unlikely to obtain due to the high volume of booking of the hotel. (I mean the hotel is stunning so I am too surprised!) More about Flamingo beach in Aruba and how to gain access in this post.
Right, back to the main post idea. I want to show you why you need to visit Aruba. As much as I loved the Island before I flew there, with a whole heart, I love the Island even more now, and nothing more I wished now is to get back there one day.
Aruba is a Dutch Island, one of the Lesser Antilles islands located in the Southern Caribbean Sea. Commonly known as the ABC islands. ( Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao). On the map, look for Venezuela and you will be able to locate it easily. Aruba measures 186.5 square kilometers and the main capital is Oranjestad with beautiful homes from the 18th century. The houses are spectacular, colorful and have their own unique vibes adding a perfect landscape to the island.
Beaches for Everyone
Whether you are looking for a quiet beach with the most amazing nature (including seeing turtles) or more vibrant beaches with bars, restaurants, and famous Caribbean nightlife, Aruba has everything you need. What’s more, the most turquoise waters you have ever seen, and I am not lying here. The water colours were just breathtaking. Also what I noticed in Aruba is the colour of the water is heavily associated with the weather. During nice sun spells, you can see the water in its own full colour and its colour I never have seen anywhere like that. I visited many countries from the Maldives to Sri Lanka and Aruba, is still one of my favorites. Palm Beach (Malmok and Noord) as well as Eagle/Manchebo Beach. Moomba beach lunch with all year sunshine, it’s just something that it’s a must.
Eagle and Manchebo Beach located at the south-western curve of Aruba are the longest yet most natural beaches of Aruba. Here you will find turtle nesting and everyone here take care to look after turtles so the can lay eggs uninterrupted. These beaches are less crowded, with less hospitality development, so there can be preserved a great balance between humanity and nature. If you after white sand, famous fofoti trees then these Beaches are your thing! This places especially left eagle beach, is often filled with local residents camping around. Perfect place with loads of greenery for shadows, to enjoy the waves, surfing or just set up a grill and relax. Don’t worry if you get hungry as snack wagons can be found around as well.
Palm Beach, Malmok and Nord are the most famous in the world. These beaches, are the vibrant places with bars and restaurants as well as access the clean toilets and most water activities. The beaches here, most have some shallow waters, perfect for families with young children. You can find remains of a ship here, which is a very popular attraction. Palm beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and watercolor here is amazing. Grab food at Pelican Nest and enjoy cocktails and yummy seafood.
After that take a boat with… to snorkeling with pelican adventures. They will take you to Catalina Bay, where with snorkeling equipment on board, you can explore the colourful corals in crystal clear waters and if you brave enough later you can also jump to rather wavy waters to explore Antilla Wreck of World War II shipwreck!
If you visiting Aruba, take jeep ABC tour and they will take you into a stunning rare place of the island. Aruba volcanic rocks commonly know as Breathing Rocks, create a beautiful natural landscape on the island. The tour includes attractions like Twin Bridges, Blackstone beach Andicuri as well as swimming and jumping in hidden caves if you brave enough! The whole trip can be quite bumpy so be prepared to wear sunglasses that fits, as well as a hat and any clothing that can fly away with the wind and speed ( I’ve lost that!) but it was one of the most amazing experiences on the island. Ralph, our tour guide was a funny bloke with plenty of jokes up his sleeves, but as well as caring when we walked on quite rocky surfaces but also encouraging when it comes to exploring. I personally took the plunge and jumped into the cave of natural pool and it was a breathtaking experience. Check out my instagram video It’s a must! If you are fit and healthy, can swim then don’t be afraid as it was simply amazing. The whole tour is also accompanied by a beautiful landscape of 18th-century houses, giant cactuses, and mountains.
Meeting Frank Kelly, the local forager is another must do, while on the island. Truly, unforgettable experience. Frank is quite a character, with his rather straightforward personality. I loved him! He showed us around the natural beneficial flowers like peppery moringa or fragrant kawara to create smoothies or cocktails. However, his homemade rum had some serious kick! You have to try it. You will find Taki ( his nickname) in wild north coast beaches and you can book a personal tour of his little hidden gem there, closer to nature as you can be. He is also a great graphite artist, and you can see some of his creations on his pop-up events. You will find him barefoot, which I was completely impressed by how he easily took steps on rather rocky grounds while showing us natural salts closer to the water. He also cooked for us, and it was delicious. Drunk of rum, close to nature and we never wanted to go back.
This part of Aruba was what stunned me the most. A real art pops up with giant murals covering buildings as well as small boutique shops and hand made goods. A real Caribbean-Shoreditch! Cosecha shop was beautiful. Full of local arts and crafts and everything within a unique Arubian style and culture applied. I was very impressed with grant murals, art installations and most of all -Colours of San Nicolas. The number of photos I have taken there was unreal! San Nicolas looks like a giant installation art on its own and is definitely an experience you won’t find anywhere else. Also, while in there pop for a pint into an oldest Arubian bar called Charles Bar.
In Aruba, you have all year round sun and wonderful weather. As the island is a way of the line of the hurricane is very unlikely that you will end up with a week or rain or hurricane at all! You can sunbath all day, and in the evenings, enjoy the most spectacular sunsets ever. One night we went for dinner to Elements hotel, with the most romantic scenes ever. The food and cocktails at the Elements restaurants, it’s one big reason to book it there, but the fact that you can also enjoy that while watching the most breathtaking sunset you ever have seen.
SUP Yoga and Morning Yoga
For all Yoga lovers, Aruba provides the closest to nature landscape for emotional and physical wellbeing. SUP Yoga, on paddle boards, is quite hard but truly rewarding. As much as it looks difficult, I can assure you that despite your fitness level- you are going to enjoy this experience. You can book one of one session or join group sessions. However, there are plenty other places where you can grab a healthy breakfast and enjoy yoga session with an outstanding surrounding like Yoga at Manchebo Resort and Spa with different levels from beginners to up to more advanced. The scenery is peaceful and quiet, and after that, you can also gran a healthy lunch with plenty of choices from energizing to detoxing smoothies.
As much as Spa time you can enjoy in peaceful hotels in the city, a spa experience on the island is something completely different. The use of local products like Aloe Vera, and you can choose from many experiences to treatments to make you feel relaxed as well make your skin glowing. After that, you can enjoy your peaceful time with a glass of prosecco. I took a session at the Hilton hotel and it was amazing. After that, I took a long walk around the hotel beach and felt fully energized for the rest of the trip.
Terrafuse is a local glass jewellery maker, where you can book it and try to make your own jewellery. It was a perfect way for a quiet afternoon entertaiment as well, as learn more about the local culture. I earned how to make glass beaded bracelet, by using long glass sticks. It wasn’t easy but definitely was super fun!
18miles tour around the island wasn’t something I was prepared for. Since I last time sat on the bike was definitely over 10 years ago. I was petrified yet excited. The tour takes you through the roads of 18th centuries houses, and local areas then go into the rather rocky rural part of the island being along with side seaside coats. the views were incredible and the amount of time I stopped to take pictures was probably annoying my tour guide. Be prepared to take some decent shoes like trainers over sandals as small rocks can be hurtful to bare feet, but you absolutely fine with the right shoes.
In Aruba, you will find any type of food you like. From local cuisine, seafood or sophisticated dining with views.
Grab a super healthy breakfast at Garden Fresh, that provides for all wellbeing fans, but if you like a bite of Italian cousins the Hostaria La Vittorio provide a scenic view with his of Italy. Also, another healthy option with sections of smoothies and hand made breakfast you can find at Manchebo beach resort and spa.
Zeerovers is a place to try seafood that been caught daily by fishmongers and is populated by locals and tourists, this place is always busy and you can grab a yummy lunch by waterfront enjoying the views. Moomba Beach it’s a definitely a must for a sunny lunch view the best views ever and selection of local beers, as well as hangover cure cocktails. SeaSalt is another great place to grab a quick lunch with a large selection of local food, that is served super quick for all you busy bees.
If you after a romantic dinner, the Papiamento restaurant it’s your call to action. Tables surround a beautiful pool, with local foods and cousins and they have a selection of the most amazing wines ever. Very sophisticated dining.
Aqua Grill provides very sophisticated dining with amazing oysters selection but also you can try their posh lobster and enjoy tasty cocktails.
Sunset Grill at the Hilton Hotel is definitely a great idea too, with live music and most tender meats. Definitely try their Fillet steak, you won’t be disappointed. They also serve breakfasts and lunch and you can find hidden gens and seats around the hotel.
After your food, if you are not tired yet, dance off the jet lag at Moomba Beach real Caribbean style party! I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Aruba was definitely the trip of my life and I loved it each part of it. There is much more to explore and 7 days wasn’t enough despite a full day of activities. I can’t possibly cover everything here, so there is the most post coming through as well as video from my trip, so keep an eye updates for this post.